How the Premier League broadcast deal hugely favours big teams

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  • Manchester United make the most money out of live TV
  • Red Devils could lose £8,000,000 a year if money split equally
  • Leicester one of three clubs to average over £100,000,000 a year

Manchester United would stand to lose almost £8,000,000 per year if TV broadcast payments were split equally between all Premier League clubs, a new study has revealed.

Under the current terms of the Premier League’s broadcast deal, teams are rewarded financially for every time they appear live on TV, resulting in more and more money ending up in the pockets of the big clubs.

The ‘Big Six’ of Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United are the most popular teams for broadcasters. They are currently shown live in the UK at least 20 times a season, which brings in around £20,000,000 of extra funding.

The breakdown of this money, known as ‘facility fees’, accounts for 25% of the pot for the broadcast deal. OLBG’s Fans of the EPL has broken down how much each team would stand to lose if this money was split equally between all 20 teams, rather than on an incentivised basis.

Manchester United would be the biggest losers, dropping £7,964,350 per season if the money was distributed equally.

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The Red Devils have been shown on live TV an average of 25 times over the past 10 Premier League seasons – the most of any club.

Over the course of 10 years, that equates to almost £80,000,000, or one Harry Maguire.

Would the ‘Big Six’ be so far ahead of the rest of the league in terms of size and finance if the money was shared out equally between each side?

Huddersfield might never have been relegated from the Premier League if they had been given an extra £7.9m both seasons they were in the top flight, while Watford would also have benefited considerably with an extra £6.1m.

Over the last 10 years, it is surprisingly Brighton who average the highest payments from the Premier League due to broadcast revenue. Due to their recent arrival in the top flight, they have hugely benefited from the increasing prices and bring in on average £106m per year – with facility fees and merit payments taken into account.

Being ever-present in the top league and near the top of the table means the ‘Big Six’ average around £95m a year. However, Bournemouth and Leicester are the only other clubs to average over £100m.

OLBG has also totted up every game to be shown live on TV in the Premier League last season to work out how much fans of each club had to pay to see their team live.

Bournemouth and Southampton fans are among the worst-affected, paying £31.60 to watch their team live on TV per match as seen in the table below.

Football ClubNumber of EPL Televised Matches in 2018/19Cost Per Match (If a Subscription taken with Sky Sports and BT)
Manchester City26£12.15
Liverpool29£10.90
Chelsea25£12.64
Tottenham Hotspur26£12.15
Arsenal25£12.64
Manchester United27£11.70
Wolverhampton Wanderers15£21.07
Everton18£17.56
Leicester City15£21.07
West Ham United16£19.75
Watford10£31.60
Crystal Palace12£26.33
Newcastle United19£16.63
AFC Bournemouth10£31.60
Burnley11£28.73
Southampton10£31.60
Brighton & Hove Albion13£24.31
Cardiff City12£26.33
Fulham13£24.31
Huddersfield Town10£31.60

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